John Allen has a great backgrounder. The Zapatero government in Madrid is exceptionally hostile to the church, taking everyone by surprise it seems. And apparently, the Prime Minister of Spain will not attend Mass tomorrow. According to Papal spokesman Navarro-Valls, "I recall that Daniel Ortega came to the mass when we went to Nicaragua. During the communist period, Wojciech Jaruzelsky did the same. When we went to Cuba, Fidel did not stay away from the mass." Hmm.
Truth be told I had no clue that the Holy Grail was supposed to be in Valencia. Spero News has a great story:
Monty Python and King Arthur all got it wrong. When looking for the Holy Grail they could have saved a lot of time and just headed to Valencia.So far, the Holy Father was greeted by the King and Queen of Spain and te Prime Minister at the airport, and has prayed for the victims of the subway crash earlier this week. At the Cathedral
This is one of those secrets, that isn't too secret: The Holy Chalice said to be used by Christ at the Last Supper has been sitting for years in the Valencia Cathedral.
In fact, supporters of the cup say previous tests have shown that it dates to the 1st Century and was made in Palestine.
If that's not enough, the chalice also has a certificate-of-authority, only in this case that certificate is also a bit of a relic too.
You see the certificate-of-authenticity dates to 262 AD, and incidentally claims that some of the early popes used the chalice in Mass.
Benedict, visiting Valencia's 17th century cathedral, told his bishops he was aware of the secular drift in a country with "deep Christian roots" and urged them to "keep alive and vigorous this spirit, which has accompanied the life of Spaniards throughout their history."Apparently, the Archbishop presented the Pope with a replica of the Holy Grail.